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Sin título, y todavía verano (Untitled, yet it’s summer)

Facing loss of love in María Tinaut Solo Show
at Galería Rosa-Santos in Valencia.

Leary, M.R. Emotional Responses to Interpersonal Rejection, Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015 Dec; 17

Eisenberger NI., Lieberman MD., Williams KD. Does rejection hurt? An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science  10 Oct 2003: Vol. 302, Issue 5643, pp. 290-292

Barthes, R., Fragments d'un discours amoureux, 1977

Credits:  María Tinaut at Galeria Rosa Santos from Sept. 25th, to Nov. 13th, 2020 in Valencia, Spain

Photos: The Room Projects
Author - Alessandra Chiericato
Published: 8th Dec. 20

When it comes to loss and rejection, it is hard not to draw on to the not-so-unique, private collection of personal experiences. Whether raised in response to external agents (e.g. romantic, social or professional rejection) or in relation to a personal denial, rejection is an event leading us to experience a variety of emotions, which often culminate in the dramatic attempt to re-establish a hierarchy toward the rejected party.

In Emotional Responses to Interpersonal Rejection, Mark R. Leary, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, speaks about interpersonal rejections as one of the most hurtful and subsequent events in someone’s life. By examining seven emotions that seem to arise when in potential jeopardy, Professor Leary discusses the evolutionary functions of rejection-related emotions and the role of adaptive behaviour in managing social acceptance. In Leary’s words, hurt feelings, jealousy, loneliness, shame, guilt, social anxiety and embarrassment occur in potential or actual rejection, but they also push us to react when relational problems arise. Why? Because being rejected physically hurts and nobody wants to feel that pain.  

To this extent, when it comes to love and heartbreak, we can all agree with Professor Leary’s words when he says that the emotion mostly associated with a low self-esteem is the so-called “hurt feelings”. Those famous ‘diverging prospectives’ are the first evidence of hurt feelings in a relationships.  

It is like being in Roland Barthes’s fragment Waiting: “ […] I discern and indicate the others delay; […] I decide to ‘take it badly’,  I release the anxiety of waiting”. Taking the lover’s perspective, Barthes describes this wait as a moment encompassed by agony, fear of rejection and abandon. Waiting for the loved one opens several inconsistent possibilities and provokes anxiety as well as a sadistic desire of playing the opposite game (even if the lover always loses at it).

Through the works of the exhibition Sin título, y todavía verano (Untitled, yet it’s summer), visual artist María Tinaut speaks about the different stages in a love story. By drawing an invisible line that connects each artwork displayed in the space of Galería Rosa Santos, downtown Valencia, María Tinaut writes a very personal goodbye-letter to her loved one.

It seems impossible not to empathise with the feelings she is softly expressing here. In fact, besides the story of her very personal break-up, the exhibition shows a familiar sense of rejection that everybody have experienced at least once.

Sin título, y todavía verano is an open invitation to the ambiguity of love, especially when it comes to the threat of loss and rejection. Since the very first work, visitors are encountering love and loss as two inseparable conditions. In Untitled (The Chance), María Tinaut place side by side two white big canvases as two A4 papers on a wall. On these rescaled papers, the artist claims “There is no chance of love without the threat of loss” then adding: “There is no chance of love with   the threat of loss”, meaning that the chances of love and loss are undeniably equal. The solidity of this statement is unfolded through the artworks displayed in the gallery basement, like anonymous characters of a play.

In Wish Me Luck for the New Year, María documents an illegal action in Valencia’s subway when the fragments of a farewell letter across three empty blue billboards are installed. These fragments were located in consecutive stations, so that the reading of a full sentence was made possible only by travelling through the three stations.

In Cup (Two) the artist seems to go back and forth to the impossibility of this love. Two ceramic cups sharing the same handle witness a condition of loneliness. Yet, as a whole pointless object, the artwork is the metaphor of the impossibility of that love.    

Finally, Untitled (Blue 1) is the ultimate effort to put together fragments of memories, as well as an attempt to “put our sh*ts back together”. On a grey cemented surface, the artist tries to recompose the drawing printed on the blue tiles, succeeding to making it only in part.

Through the fragments of a never-sent letter, she raises the awareness of the fact that there is no turning back, and through the attempt to put what remains back together, María explores the different emotional responses described by Leary. And still, she is adding another important factor: the self-devotion to reach again ‘Days of Clear Blue Skies’ (2019), like those of Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

This last piece — a 1:1 reproduction of an installation she made once again on empty billboards in Valencia — seems to be the final stage of this mise en scène.

The feeling of suspension — and yet of awareness that weaves itself in and out of love and rejection experiences between distance, closeness and otherness — questions and builds up a sense of possibility in the viewing.

© The Room Projects